Pakistani police have arrested a man accused of burying his newborn daughter alive because she was physically deformed.
Mohammed Anwar, a police officer in the city of Khanewal in the eastern Punjab province, said the child was born on Thursday at a hospital in the nearby town of Kacha Khuh.
But after seeing his little girl, father Chand Khan is said to have been shocked that she had ‘abnormal features’.
Pakistani police have arrested a man accused of burying his newborn daughter (file pic)
He then set about planning how to dispose of her body, it is claimed.
According to police, he told relatives that the baby was born dead and arranged a funeral for the girl.
But shockingly, the baby let out a cry during the service.
Chand is then accused of burying the girl alive.
Residents alerted authorities after seeing him take the baby to the graveyard.
Khan, who has four other children, will be sentenced to death if he is found guilty of killing his daughter.
Police say they will now exhume the child’s body to perform an autopsy.
It is claimed that Khan’s wife was still at the hospital when the baby was buried.
Mohammed Farooq, a doctor at al-Shifa hospital, says he saw the child after her birth on Thursday and that she was healthy and alive but had a fairly large head and ‘abnormal’ features.
Mr Farooq said: ‘I am a doctor at the same hospital where this child was born. This man came to me yesterday with a request that I should do something to dispose of his child, but I snubbed him and said get out.
‘No one has the right to kill anyone because of his or her physical deformity.’
Pakistani human rights activist Farzana Bari has condemned the incident and Raghab Naeemi, a prominent Pakistan religious scholar, demanded a stern punishment for the man if he is found guilty.
The case has also shed light on prejudices in Pakistan against children, especially girls, who are born with physical deformities.
There have also been cases of parents killing their children out of extreme poverty and an inability to take care of them.